Friday, April 10, 2020

This week with red-tailed hawks Christo & Amelia in Tompkins Square

As we are staying at home as much as possible, I have not been able to spend as much time with our local red-tailed hawks, Christo and Amelia, as much as I usually do, but I am still able to check on them regularly while practicing social distancing. Sometimes, this means spending only a few minutes with them at a time, but even that is enough to lift my spirits and keep me mentally grounded during this extremely stressful time.

I realize not everyone is able to visit the hawks, so I hope posting photos and updates is of some comfort. They are living each day as it comes, and they give me hope that things will eventually get better.

Below is Amelia peeking out of the nest. You can see the green leaf buds of this locust tree are starting to open around the nest.  Soon, she'll have a curtain of leaves for shade and privacy.

Amelia peeking out of her nest

Amelia standing up to look at something in the distance:

Amelia on her nest

Amelia and Christo on the nest:

Amelia and Christo

This is the hawks performing a nest-exchange where Christo comes in to brood the eggs while Amelia gets a break to fly around and get some exercise.

Amelia and Christo

Here is Amelia in a nearby tree stretching her wing. You can also see her left foot stretched out below the wing, as well as her tail fanned out behind it.

Amelia stretching

Stretching from another angle:

Amelia stretching

Another pose in the routine:

Amelia stretching

I wish I could do this with my neck!

Amelia practicing yoga

How many out there can scratch their cheek with their foot without the assistance of hands?

Amelia scratching

All pretty now.

Amelia

Yoga session over, Amelia heads back to the nest.

Amelia

Amelia

When she arrives, she brings in a fresh sprig of green locust buds.

Amelia brings a fresh bud of leaves to the nest

Christo gets up off the eggs so Amelia can resume brooding.

Amelia and Christo

Egg-sitting time over, Christo goes on a dinner run. He begins his hunting procedure by perching on a lamp post to get a view of an area populated by rats.

Christo atop a street lamp

He dives after one, but missed this time.

Christo diving for prey

Christo spends the rest of the evening hunting rats from another lamp post.

Christo hunting at sunset by lamp light

As the sun set, it became too dark for me to get decent photos, but Christo was successful catching a rat from this perch.

Christo hunting at sunset by lamp light

Dinner served, he went off to roost for the night.

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